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Blog | Product Updates

Improve Sales Forecasting with the Weather Widget

On April 10, 2017, a Weather Widget will appear in the Forecasting Module, helping your operation improve sales forecasting and optimize staffing levels.

In the restaurant business, weather can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Rain or snow can change guest traffic and menu items – even on-time staff arrivals. Knowing how inclement weather can impact your business is half the profitability battle. In fact, restaurants have reported a 10% change in sales based on weather variations. Weather forecasts can be a powerful tool for improving the accuracy of your sales forecast and associated staffing levels.

At HotSchedules, our goal is to provide the most pertinent information in the app so that managers can staff in the most efficient way. That’s why we are proud to introduce the Forecasting Weather Widget where managers can view historical and projected weather on a day-to-day basis.

See the Forecast in the Forecast

The Weather Widget will display Accuweather’s 12:00 pm (local to the store) forecast for up to ten consecutive days. Managers can use that information to proactively adjust staffing levels when they have that information available in real time.

Make a Proactive Staffing Adjustment
Once a forecast is generated, HotSchedules uses an algorithm to make a suggested percentage change based on the historical impact of weather to sales. Managers can click on each day of the forecasted week and apply a percentage adjustment for each. The math happens in the background, but the opportunity to adapt to the weather is made based on the manager’s understanding of the business.

For example, if Monday is projected to be 80 degrees and sunny, HotSchedules will average 20 past instances with the same weather pattern (not temperature), and provide a recommended adjustment, if there is a greater than a 1% difference. When a Scheduling Manager accepts the adjustment, that percentage is applied to each forecast interval. Because it is a percentage change, other labor drivers will be adjusted too.

Important to note:

  • This feature is generally available for new customers starting March 30. Current customers will receive the feature on April 10.
  • Once a forecast adjustment is made, it can be deleted but not edited.
  • “Other labor drivers” refers to guests, tables, entrees or a custom driver.
  • If a weather forecast for a day is not available, a message will appear saying “Insufficient Weather Data.”
Have Questions About Forecasting with Weather?

Our Help Center has lots of great resources including this article– that has additional details and screenshots. If you need access to the Forecasting module or need further assistance, just reach out to Customer Care. They will be happy to help you out!

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